Donating your car to a non-profit can provide valuable funding and a nice tax write-off for a donor. It also provides a creative way for charities to bring in funding while solving a problem for the car donor.

Before you donate, it’s a good idea to perform some research.

Folks who are thinking about donating their car should have an idea what they’re allowed to claim by the IRS, which car donation charity can provide free pickup and maximum tax donation, and what car donation charity best fits their values.

Are car donations tax deductible in 2019?

In 2019, car donors can choose one of two options allowed by the IRS for a tax deduction:

Based on the value of your car, you may claim up to $500 immediately, without waiting for the resale price.

Or, you may wait until your car sells if you know the vehicle’s value is over $500.

What if my car is worth more than the sale price? If you feel that the car you’re donating is worth more than $500, make it known to the charity and say you’d like to wait until your car sells at auction.

After you donate a car to Rawhide, it’s sent to an inspection site (Rawhide is one the only car donation charities that actually inspects and repairs cars before sale). If your car is headed to an auction, auto technicians will make repairs to your car to get a better sale price.

tax deduction and car donation 2019

Frequently asked car donation tax deduction questions

Taxes can be complicated. If you don’t understand the tax implications of donating a vehicle, you could be at risk of an audit.

Luckily, the car donation is process is pretty simple. Rawhide has been helping people in Wisconsin donate their cars for over 30 years. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that our car donation experts get year after year.

Do you need to submit a Form 1098-C?

The IRS requires you to provide specific information regarding your car donation, boat donation, or airplane donation. Although you are not required to complete a 1098-c, it does provide the format of the information that is required. If you plan on claiming more than $500 your charity should be able to provide you a copy of the 1098-c.

Rawhide will provide a copy of the 1098-C if you plan on claiming more than $500.

Can you give an estimate of the sales amount for donations?

Rawhide can provide a range of what similar vehicles have sold for at auction as a comparison, although, this is not a guarantee of the amount we will be able to sell your donation for, based on year, make, model, condition, mileage, and current market conditions.

Will I receive a receipt telling me how much you sold my car for?

Rawhide will send an initial receipt when you complete your paperwork. If you plan to claim over $500, we will need your social security number before sending an additional receipt with the sale amount Rawhide received.

Read the Ultimate Guide to Car Donation

Rawhide’s goal is to provide donors with a higher tax deduction and give buyers at auction a better vehicle.

Do some charities provide better tax deductions?

Some charities do provide better tax deductions when you donate your car.

After you donate your vehicle to Rawhide, we work to get our donors the largest deduction possible. We’re the only car donation charity that will repair your vehicle before it’s sold at auction.

Our sales professionals work to get the most for your vehicles at auction. The more money that comes back to Rawhide, the higher the tax deduction for our donors.

Be sure to find out if your local car donation charity works to get the most from their donation.

How to find a charity to donate your car to

If you’ve never donated a car before, you’ll need to do some research before you decide which charity is most deserving.

There are a few key factors to look at before you decide to donate your vehicle. The reputation of the organization that is receiving your vehicle is one of the most important pieces of car donation.




You should be certain that your money is being used wisely. Some car donation charities designate more funds to their cause than others.

We recommend checking the integrity of your charity of choice with rating sites like these:

Charity Navigator Ratings

GuideStar Charity Ratings

What is the best charity to donate your car to?

Rawhide has been taking vehicle donations since 1983. After 35 years of experience, you can be certain that you’re maximizing your donation and directly affecting communities in Wisconsin with your car donation.

Over 83% of your donation goes to directly fund our programs. Your donation will be received, picked up, and sold by a Rawhide team member.

While car donation charities benefit greatly, Charity Navigator actually notes that it’s usually the donor that benefits the most from the car donation process.

What happens to a car after it’s donated to charity?

Our work experience programs set us apart from every other car donation charity in the country.

Some car donations are brought to our main campus in New London, WI where students in our residential care homes have an opportunity to learn job skills through work experience programs.

Students enrolled at Starr Academy, a private and fully-accredited school on Rawhide’s campus, can learn through work experience elective courses like welding, small engine repair, woodshop, and more.

All of our programs are supported by vehicle donations. Even though those vehicle donations are monetarily important, teachable moments with our youth are the key elements to our vehicle program. It’s those hands-on experiences that no other vehicle donation program has and it’s what makes us unique.